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UNFPA believes that every Syrian woman and girl has the right to have access to affordable reproductive health care and be effectively protected from gender-based violence. UNFPA and its partners are scaling up efforts to empower and improve the lives of Syrian women and youth and impacted communities in host countries, including by advocating for human rights and gender equality, to better cope with and recover from the crisis.

 

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Gender-based violence is a complicated and sensitive subject. Reporting on gender-based violence means discussing issues that are often considered ‘taboo,’ and talking publicly about intimate and distressing matters. This can be particularly challenging in countries where tradition and religion play an important role in everyday life.

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The creation of women and girls safe spaces has emerged as a key strategy for the protection and empowerment of women and girls affected by the Syrian crisis. This document provides an overview of what safe spaces are, and what key principles should be followed when establishing such spaces in humanitarian and post-crisis contexts.
 

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March 2015 marked four years of civil war in Syria. While many in the world have moved on, Syrians find themselves trapped in conflict, and forced to flee for their lives. The fighting has killed at least 220,000 people; and 840,000 have been injured in violence. Life expectancy has fallen by approximately 20 years. Within the country, 7.6 million Syrians have been displaced and more than 650,000 are living in besieged communities, their majority surviving in dire conditions exacerbated by poverty. Nearly 4 million Syrians have fled their country and become refugees in neighbouring countries. 

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The Syrian conflict, which began in 2011, has touched off a humanitarian crisis that has inundated the rest of the region. Some 12.2 million Syrians have been displaced by the nearly four-year conflict inside the country and are in need of assistance, while another four million now live as refugees in neighbouring countries facing worsening conditions in exile. Out of the total, nearly four million women and girls of reproductive age and half a million pregnant Syrian women are at risk of related health and protection issues. 

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Syria is experiencing the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world. Today, more than 3 million people, the majority women and children, have been registered as refugees in neighbouring countries. There are also more than 12 million people inside Syria in need of assistance, including over 7 million displaced person. Of the total, more than 4 million women and girls of reproductive age, and around 500,000 pregnant women are at risk.

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Another year has passed in Syria, with no end in sight of the conflict. The suffering of more than four million Syrian women and girls of reproductive age, of which half a million are pregnant, continues. Women have become more vulnerable to exploitation as they are socially, psychologically and economically insecure. Many are at risk of not having access to safe deliveries, or emergency obstetric care, because of shortages of qualified staff, lack of supplies and medicines or equipped facilities, and difficulties in access.

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Syria's overall security situation remained tense due to the expanded military operations and mortar shelling in areas including Rural Damascus, Aleppo, Hasakah, Idleb, Homs, Lattakia and Deirez-Zor.
 

 

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As the fierce violence in Syria continues to force families to flee the country, another crisis loomed during the first month of 2015, with a brutal stretch of winter weather. Syrian families living in informal tented settlements, abandoned buildings, garages and camps are still struggling amongst the desperate living conditions they have enduring for years now. Women and children contended with frigid nights and heavy snowfalls that in many areas collapsed flimsy tents, destroyed homes, blocked access to health care, safe water, food and hygiene.

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Another year has passed in Syria, with no end in sight for the conflict. The suffering of more than four million Syrian women and girls of reproductive age, of which half a million are pregnant, continues. Women have become more vulnerable to exploitation as they are socially, psychologically and economically insecure. Many are at risk of not having access to safe deliveries, or emergency obstetric care, because of shortages of qualified staff, lack of supplies and medicines or equipped facilities, and difficulties in access.   
 

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